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38th African Union Executive Council session convenes


38th African Union Executive Council session convenes

Photo: U.S. Department of State

The African Union’s (AU) 38th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council will be held virtually today.

Today’s meeting will focus on drafting the agenda, decisions and declarations of this year’s theme—“Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”—for the AU’s Head of State Assembly on February 5.

This year’s theme is more sanguine than 2020’s focus.  Last year, the AU’s theme was “Silencing the Guns”, an initiative engendered in 2013 as part of the AU’s Agenda 2063 project that seeks to eliminate conflicts and wars in Africa by 2063. The objective of “Silencing the Guns” was to use media to educate the public on conflict prevention and resolution methods. The campaign used communication mediums such as radio shows and brochures to reach conflict-prone areas and social media to spread anti-violence information.

While it is too early to gauge the effectiveness of “Silencing the Guns”, the associated media operation was an ambitious demonstration of the AU’s resolve to end violent conflicts. Expect this week’s Head of State Assembly to briefly discuss the campaign’s results. However, in the near- to medium-term, the media operation is likely to continue until the next iteration of the anti-conflict campaign is constructed at later meetings.

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Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images

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